This top-rated visitor attraction at the University of Alaska Fairbanks boasts being the only research and teaching museum in Alaska. With a goal of acquiring, interpreting and showcasing collections relating to Alaska’s natural, cultural and artistic heritage, the University of Alaska Museum of the North currently houses 1.4 million artifacts and specimens. Visitors can peruse the collections and exhibits to gain a true understanding of the development and culture of Native Alaskans. These are separated into 10 different categories: Archaeology, birds, documentary film, earth sciences, ethnology/history, fine arts, fishes/marine invertebrates, insects, mammals, and plants.
Visitors can also see ancient artwork spanning from 2,000 years ago to present, like ancient ivory carvings; contemporary sculptures; Alaska’s most comprehensive public display of gold and Blue Babe; a light installation that changes with the position of the moon and sun; Native tools and toys; and much more. Other things to do include seeing a 36,000-year-old preserved steppe bison; learning about Alaska’s mining history, seeing a film on the Aurora Borealis; viewing the world’s largest collection of polar dinosaurs; taking in beadwork handicrafts from the mid-1800s and other experiences you just can't have anywhere else. Don’t leave without perusing the Museum Store, which sells authentic Native Alaskan artwork.
University of Alaska Museum of the North is located at 907 Yukon Drive in Fairbanks. Hours vary by season, so check the website for the most current times. Admission is $12 general admission, $7 for youth 14 and younger, $8 for Alaska residents 15 and older, $5 for Alaska youth, $4 for UA faculty and staff, and free for museum members, UA students and children under 1.